Monthly Archives: May 2019

Will Insulating Your Attic Make Your Home Cooler This Summer?

contractor installing insulation in atticElectricity bills tend to increase in summer. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) explains the higher demand for electricity during the hot season inflates electricity rates. More generation sources have to be added to meet the demand.

It’s crucial to keep your home cool as much as possible during summer. Otherwise, you’re likely to use your cooling system more than usual. In winter, proper insulation helps your home to stay warm. But would it also contribute to keeping your home cool this summer?

A Good Investment

Insulating the attic of your home in Kansas City can help you save money on energy bills. It prevents heat from coming in through your attic during summer. It will also won’t force your air conditioning unit to work harder, reducing your energy consumption.

But why focus on your attic? For starters, it’s the easiest place to install insulation.

Attic insulation also provides a barrier that decreases the amount of air that enters and escapes your property. Although the cost may seem a bit steep at first, what you get in return will be well worth what you spend. You may save between 10 and 50 percent on heating and cooling bills. And the estimated return on investment (ROI) of an insulated attic is 107.7 percent if you decide to resell your home.

Choosing the Right Insulation

The benefits of attic insulation vary, depending on the material used. It’s crucial to identify first the recommended R-values (the capability of the insulating material to resist conductive heat flow) in your area before choosing the insulating material.

Different insulating materials are available in the market. Each of them provides different levels of insulation, depending on where you install them. You should also consider the indoor air quality impact of the material.

Here the two common materials ideal for attic insulation:

  • Spray foam – this is all-in-one insulation and air sealing system, which doesn’t settle or sag when applied.
  • Batted insulation – this is an effective and affordable insulation alternative for attics. This material, however, is ideal for areas without too many wires, pipes, or obstruction to eliminate the need for cutting the material.

Some insulation materials are easy to apply. But it doesn’t mean you have to install the insulation on your own. Although it’s acceptable, you might compromise the performance and efficiency of the material, especially if not properly installed.

Install Your Insulation Professionally

Hiring a professional is an ideal way to insulate your attic, especially if the space has tricky access, signs of moisture problems, and leaks. Professionals have the correct equipment and skills to install an insulation material without compromising its performance and your health. Some materials contain chemicals that can affect your health when not handled properly.

A+ Insulation can help you insulate your attic to keep your home cool throughout the summer. We offer a variety of insulation materials, including loose-fill and batt insulations. Our previous customers have lowered their energy bill by 30 percent after updating their attic insulation.

Contact us today to get a quote.

Mindful Flipping: Things to Look Out for When Buying a Fixer-Upper

home buildingIf you were a fan of Joanna Gaines and her husband Chip from the popular HGTV show “Fixer Upper,” you’ve probably had the urge to find an old, busted home and give it a makeover. It is inspiring how they’re partly responsible for the bustling real estate market Waco has now.

If you paid attention to every episode, however, you’ll know that the process isn’t as simple as attaching a coffered ceiling and farmhouse sink and calling it a day. There are negotiations, lengthy contracts, and meticulous inspections behind the scenes. If you’re set on working on your own fixer-upper, here’s what you need to look out for before striking a deal and starting the work.

The Location

While you may want to put the house’s looks first, you should consider its location as the top priority. As the opening spiel in the show goes, they pick the worst house in the best neighborhood to turn into their clients’ dream home.

Ask yourself, is the home near your job? If not, is it close to any bus stop? Is it in a safe neighborhood in Kansas City? What about the pests? If the home is in an area that you’re not happy about, it’s best just to find another place. You don’t want to start work and then realize that the area has rodent problems or that it’s next to a railroad that wakes you up with sirens and loud train whistles in the middle of the night.

Costly Repairs

Like anything you plan on buying, you need to do extensive research to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth. It’s more apparent in fixer-uppers, where significant savings is part of the appeal. As such, you should hire an inspector to look around the home and estimate costs for repairs. While you shouldn’t be surprised that there’s something major that needs fixing (i.e., plumbing and paint), you should look for possible renovations that will haunt your bank account after striking a seemingly good deal. Don’t worry about the money you spend hiring an inspector for a home your interested in. It’s nothing compared to a costly fixer-upper project.

Improvements You Can DIY

Another appealing factor that taking on a fixer-upper has is the DIY work. You often see Joanna planning the job and Chip executing it with precision. The latter has been flipping houses for a profit since college, and they both have all the experience they need to do professional renovations. Since you’re still not as experienced, it’s best to hire a contractor for work like spraying foam insulation on your attic or replacing broken windows.

Relegate yourself to painting cabinets or minor demolition. If you’re looking to do major work, ask your contractor if you can shadow them while they do their job. This way, you get to learn the ins and outs of a project without getting in way over your head.

Flipping a home isn’t as easy as TV shows it to be. You have to find one in a good neighborhood, and you have to consider the renovation costs apart from the house’s actual price. Before you make your decision, these tips will give you an easier time finding the fixer-upper of your dreams.

Flip Your Energy Bills, Too

Your fixer upper won’t be complete without proper insulation. Here at A+ Insulation, we offer spray foam insulation that can reduce heat loss throughout winter and keep it out during summer. This cuts your cooling and heating costs by about 50%. Our project managers are trained to give you a complete overview of the process, from planning to installation, for your peace of mind. We have over 10,000 satisfied customers in Kansas City and we’re always looking to grow.

Contact us today to keep your property toasty.

Fiberglass vs. Cellulose: Which Works Best as a Blow-In Insulation Material?

Worker insulating the wallAccording to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), homeowners can save an average of 11% on total energy costs by air sealing their homes and adding insulation in attics and basements. One way to do this is through blow-in insulation. This is when loose-fill material is blown into your attic through a hose, using a truck-mounted or portable machine. This method of adding insulation is used both for new constructions and existing attics.

There are many kinds of insulation that you can use in your home’s attic, walls, and basements, but the two most common and least expensive are fiberglass and cellulose. Both materials improve your home’s energy efficiency but do so in different ways.

Here are some of the differences between the two insulation materials, so that you can make an informed decision on which one is best for your home.

Cost

Though, of course, the prices vary from contractor to contractor, fiberglass, and cellulose are generally inexpensive. They are the cheapest insulation options available in the market today. The difference between their prices is negligible.

R-Value

R-Value is the measurement of an insulation material’s ability to block thermal transfer or the movement of heat. The higher the R-value, the more insulative the material. Fiberglass and cellulose have similar R-values when installed properly. If so, they perform usually at the 3.5 to 3.7 range. This can still vary based on a lot of other factors, such as wind-washing, settling, or outside temperature, however.

Air Leakage

Both fiberglass and cellulose help retain heat but neither acts as an air barrier. Air can circulate through the insulation. Fiberglass traps air in the pockets of the insulation, while, cellulose can slow air flow, particularly in walls.

Moisture

Neither insulation material works well when wet or damp. This is because both of them are fibrous, which means they easily trap moisture. However, both can also dry out very quickly because of their high air permeability.

Flammability

Fiberglass and cellulose have different issues with fire. Since fiberglass is made of spun glass, it won’t burn; when faced with extreme heat, it will simply melt. Blow-in fiberglass is completely non-flammable.

On the other hand, cellulose insulation is made of ground-up paper. Though this paper is treated with flame retardants, there is still a possibility that it would catch fire around recessed lighting and in extreme heat.

Durability

Both cellulose and fiberglass are quite durable. While cellulose is treated to help prevent rot, mildew, and decay, fiberglass simply does not rot, nor does it promote mildew or decay. Excessive moisture may cause both to develop these issues, however.

Which Will You Pick?

Choosing the insulation material largely depends on the project at hand. Fiberglass and cellulose have their own pros and cons, and each works differently in distinct applications.

If you opt for blow-in blanket insulation in Kansas City, get in touch with A+ Insulation. We have been insulating homes and businesses in Kansas City since 2004. Our team of experts would love to hear from you and discuss all available options. Contact us today!